How Can I Craft a Sustainable Freelance Lifestyle?

Going freelance is a great way to increase your personal freedom and boost your income.

You can set your own working hours and will be rewarded for your hard work and effort with rising profits and a growing business.

How Can I Craft a Sustainable Freelance Lifestyle?

However, when working for yourself, it’s all too easy to blur the boundaries between work and life.

This is a serious issue, as a poor work-life balance will reduce your productivity, undermine your relationships, and lead to long-term burnout.

Protect your personal time and get more from the freelance lifestyle by finding hobbies that bring you balance. Even simple hobbies, like completing puzzles or recreational running, can help you rediscover your passion for life and improve the strength of your relationships.

Balancing Hobbies

Finding hobbies that bring you joy is a great way to boost your wellbeing and improve your work-life balance.

Genuinely engaging hobbies ensure that you take time away from work and can meet new people without feeling the pressure to network.

You can start learning to balance your hobbies with work today by:

  • Reassessing Priorities: If you are prone to overworking, you probably undervalue your health. Start shifting your priorities to make more time for healthy hobbies like sports and exercise today.
  • Say “No”: As a freelancer, it can be tempting to take every piece of work that comes your way. However, if you want to get the most out of the freelancing life, you have to learn to say “no” and step away from the desk when your workday has ended.
  • Focus Your Efforts: Having multiple hobbies at the same time is a lot of fun, but if you’re progress-oriented, you may want to hone your efforts on a single pastime. This will speed up your car restoration project, improve your 5K time, or help you produce more paintings quicker than if you spread your efforts across multiple hobbies.
  • Set Goals: Goals give the intention of your efforts. This is crucial when starting a new hobby, as good goals will ensure that you stick with it even when you’re busy at work and are feeling stressed. Just be sure to set reasonable goals to ensure you stay motivated.

These tips will help you find balance and spend more time working on projects that help you destress.

This is crucial, as many freelancers are prone to overworking and find little time for personal projects. Just remember to set reasonable expectations for yourself.

For example, if you want to get into running, consider joining a couch to 5K program rather than aiming to run a marathon after a year of training. This will help you sustain your interest and give you something to look forward to when you finish your work.


When was the last time you took stock of your work week? If, like many freelancers, you work more than a 9-5, you may be at risk of overworking and burnout.

This can become a real issue, as overworking reduces your productivity, undermines your mental health, and may force you to spend even more time behind the desk to finish up your work. You can learn to recognize and avoid burnout by:

  • Recognize the signs of stress like poor sleep quality, fatigue, mental fog, and worsening relationships with your family.
  • Pay attention to your energy levels, as burnout is one of the causes of low energy.
  • Take stock of how many hours you work (and remember to add up all the time you spend on miscellaneous tasks like checking emails or calling clients).
  • Write down your thoughts and feelings while paying attention to how you feel about freelancing. If you find you feel distant and cynical, you’re probably overworking.

Recognizing the signs of overworking and burnout is key if you want to make a career as a freelancer.

Admitting that you’re addicted to work or burnout can be hard, but it signals an important step on your journey toward a more sustainable, balanced freelancing lifestyle.

Self-Care Strategies

If you feel burnt out, overly stressed, or anxious you should consider speaking to your doctor about treatment pathways.

They’ll be able to suggest steps like signing up for therapy and will be able to recommend treatment plans that are tailored to your specific needs.

However, if you don’t feel that you need medical intervention, form some self-care habits that help you destress and unwind before, during, and after work.

Common examples of effective self-care strategies include:

  • Get 7 – 9 hours of sleep every night
  • Drink 6 – 8 glasses of water daily
  • Focus on eating a balanced diet with plenty of leafy greens, whole grains, lean proteins, and fruits
  • Engage in activities that help you relax, like journaling, taking a bath, reading, or spending time in nature
  • Try to practice gratitude in a way that feels authentic to you. This can be done via self-talk, journaling, or during conversations with your family and friends.

These self-care strategies will help you destress and unwind before, during, and after work.

This can be transformational if you’re used to feeling stressed, exhausted, and mentally fatigued at the end of your work day.

Just remember to take regular breaks, too, as a quick break allows you to reset, reflect, and reenergize before returning to work.

If you’ve recently turned in a major project or have been working at red-line for a sustained period, you may need a longer break from work.

Rather than working until you become sick, consider planning some vacation time for you and your family. An extended break from work is proven to improve cognitive performance and will help you feel restored.

Research indicates that even a short break can be a powerful tonic if you’re overwhelmed and overworked.


Freelancing gives you the chance to pursue new hobbies and prioritize your health.

However, if you’re new to the self-employed lifestyle, you may feel the pressure to overwork to build your brand and grow your business.

Resist this temptation by carving out time for hobbies and starting self-care activities like meditation, journaling, and walking in nature.

About The Author

Katie is a publisher and author who enjoys writing and spending time with her pets.

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